Need: General surgeons are needed in rural communities.
Intervention: Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is sending residents to complete a general surgery rotation in rural southern Oregon.
Results: 38% of the graduates of the rural residency program are now practicing in a rural setting. The residents remain more likely than other OHSU residents to enter general surgery practice and to serve in a community of fewer than 50,000 people.
Need: Many physicians want to help rural children who are overweight or obese develop healthy lifestyles, and these physicians would benefit from receiving training on specific ways to instruct, motivate, and manage the healthcare of these children.
Intervention: A virtual learning network called Healthy Eating Active Living TeleHealth Community of Practice (HEALTH-COP) was created to educate rural physicians and provide peer support.
Results: Studies showed an increase in health and wellness topics covered by physicians during children's clinic visits. This likely contributed to healthier eating habits and more active lifestyles that were found when these children were reassessed 3 months later.
Need: People in rural New Mexico often found it difficult to find and utilize needed resources from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
Intervention: UNMHSC created Health Extension Regional Offices (HEROs), in which HERO agents live in the communities they serve, help identify health and social needs, and link them with UNMHSC and other university resources.
Results: In their regions, HERO agents' activities have been diverse, including recruiting physicians, mobilizing research funds to address local priorities, working on economic development, training laypeople in Mental Health First Aid, and helping local institutions access UNMHSC resources.
Need: Assistance for urban and rural physicians — as well as other healthcare providers — who are experiencing burnout and other issues associated with well-being.
Intervention: As part of its provider well-being focus in its rural and urban facilities, Avera Health system has created a program which attends to physician wellness issues starting with recruitment with continued support through retirement.
Results: With increasing engagement due to word of mouth, the program creates a culture of wellness where stigma is decreased and providers are encouraged to be proactive in reaching out for assistance for issues related to their personal and professional well-being.